Regulatory Focus Pride (RFQ)

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Author of Tool: 

Higgins, E. T.

Key references: 

Higgins, E. T., Friedman, R. S., Harlow, R. E., Idson, L. C., Ayduk, O. N., Taylor, A. (2001). Achievement orientations from subjective histories of success: Promotion pride versus prevention pride. European Journal of Social Psychology, 31, 3-23.

Primary use / Purpose: 

Measures how promotion pride and prevention pride relate to strategic inclinations.


A new task goal elicits a feeling of pride in individuals with a subjective history of success, and this achievment pride produces anticipatory goal reactions that energize and direct behavior to approach the task goal. Regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997) distinguishes between a promotion focus on hopes and accomplishments (gains) and a prevention focus on safety and responsibilities (non-losses) Critically, regulatory focus theory proposes that the promotion and prevention systems employ qualitatively distinct means of regulating towards desired end-states(Higgins, 1997). Individuals with a chronic or situationally induced promotion focus are inclined to utilize approach strategic means in order to attain their goals. The Regulatory Focus Pride Questionnaire (RFQ)attempts to measure the author’s proposition that a subjective history of success with promotion-related eagerness (promotion pride) orients individuals toward using eagerness means to approach a new task goal, whereas a subjective history of success with prevention-related vigilance (prevention pride) orients individuals toward using vigilance means to approach a new task goal.


Each of the resulting scales exhibited good internal reliability (ˆ0.73 for the Promotion scale; 0.80 for the Prevention scale). a recent test-retest reliability study with 71 University of Maryland undergraduate participants found that over a period of two months the RFQ Promotion scale had a 0.79 correlation (p<0.0001) and the RFQ Prevention scale had a 0.81 correlation (p<0.0001).


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